The person who knows gratitude is often better equipped to deal more effectively with everyday stress, to recover better from illness, and to enjoy a greater sense of well-being. Gratitude is one of the few things that can change your life in a perceptible way. It's easy to think negatively when stressful things happen, like losing your job or getting sick.

But practicing gratitude can help you move from self-defeating thoughts to a broader, more balanced view. In difficult times, gratitude helps you focus on what is working well in your life and how you can cope with what has happened. Gratitude brings you to the present and allows you to balance the negative with the positive.

Download the Dragon.

In this exercise, you are going to color each of the Dragon's areas so that it represents something for which you feel grateful. These things, or these people, experiences, can be big or small, significant or seemingly insignificant. For example, you may feel grateful that you have a spouse, or simply that the mail was brought to you early today. If your Dragon has a lot of areas to color, you may think that you may run out of things to be thankful for. But you will find out that it is not, which in itself will be a revelation.

Start coloring the first area of your Dragon. Start with something that you usually take for granted. For example, the cup of tea that you have had with breakfast, or the bird that sings in front of your window. Express your gratitude for being able to enjoy a tea that you like, for having a cup, clean water and means to heat it. As you move from one area to another, express your gratitude for each and every thing that occurs to you.

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